Crack Magazine's Gift Guide 2023
A holiday gift guide from us, to you. 2023 has ping-ponged between the exciting and the nerve-wracking; celebratory and disconcerting. It’s made it tricky, at the best of times, to get behind the merrymaking that defines seasons such as these. But there’s a peculiar joy to be found in gift-giving, that extends to both the giver and the receiver. So below, you’ll find a selection of present ideas for the music fans among your nearest and dearest. Bookmark for your next shopping spree.
UFO Parfum's 165 BPMs perfume
$210 (or $15 for 2ml bottle)
With a “dark and hard” scent inspired by the hyperactive tempos and throbbing beats of dance music, this hand-made perfume complete with glow-in-the-dark artwork is one for the ravers and the scentheads. Before you ask: it won’t leave you smelling like you’ve just spent an extended weekend bouncing between dancefloors and sort-of strangers’ sofas. Instead, you can expect a heady, delicious blend of notes, including tonka bean, buddha wood and Bulgarian rose otto, chosen to evoke the spirit of a rave, more than the IRL smell. The brainchild of LA’s UFO Parfums, the perfume landed alongside a various artist compilation featuring stacks of our speed fiend faves, including Tim Reaper, DJ Manny and Anna Morgan. A treat for all the senses.
In the search of Gil Scott-Heron graphic novel
Dive into the musical world of the “Godfather of Rap” with this graphic novel written by documentarian Thomas Maucéri and illustrated by Sébastian Piquet. The novel – published in English for the first time this year, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of hip-hop – follows the author as he tries to track down the elusive singer, poet and writer for an interview, and takes a moment to look inwards along the way. Featuring stunning illustrations capturing Scott-Heron’s songs, words and politics over the years, it’s a must for anyone fascinated by his legacy and the profound mark he left on music and culture – in the US, and beyond.
Hyperdub's PS9 hoodie
Enter the new year with some fresh wardrobe additions courtesy of Hyperdub, who recently teamed up with multidisciplinary print and embroidery store Imprint on a couple of clothing capsule collections (try saying that three times, fast). This oversized hoodie complete with label boss Kode9’s PS9 logo is what we have our eyes on. The perfect winter gift, and a neat way to celebrate the imprint’s forthcoming 20th anniversary.
Kylie's Tension candle
Is a candle a good gift? Yes. Is a Kylie candle an even better gift? Obviously. Following the release of her much-anticipated 16th album Tension, the Aussie pop superstar dropped an accompanying merch range that included everything from tree decorations to a trio of candles named after the record and plus some of its singles (see: lilac-hued 10 Out of 10 or a red version inspired by sweaty, sex-positive anthem Padam Padam). A perfect pairing with a bottle of Kylie rosé, if you’re so inclined.
Erykah Badu's trinket (and rolling) tray
Erykah Badu launched a cannabis line, That Badu, this year, with a range of functional, beautiful and multi-purpose paraphernalia among the offerings on sale. A collaboration between the neo-soul trailblazer, and renowned potter, artist and activist Robert Lugo, this trinket and/or rolling tray may be something for your collection. Or perhaps this companion bong, dubbed the ‘Lady Vessel’, which comes in the same blue-and-white colourway with cannabis leaves featured in its botanical design.
Caroline Polachek's Bunny Is a Rider thong
The skimpiest of stocking fillers, courtesy of our February cover star Caroline Polachek and her Bunny Is a Rider branded thong. Do you have a friend who’s gone through a messy breakup? Maybe they’ve gone back to that ex one too many times? Or, perhaps, you just want to remind yourself – sorry, your friend – just who on earth they are? These could be the perfect reminder considering that infectious song – according to Polachek – is about “the sexiness of being mysterious and being unavailable”. What better energy to take into the new year.
TraTraTrax's Perreando y Llorando scarf
Staying on the cover star tip, you may have spotted this doubled-sided Perreando y Llorando scarf in our November story with TraTraTrax trio Verraco, Nyksan and DJ Lomalinda. Loosely translating from Spanish to “twerking and crying”, the phrase also cropped up in the feature, where it was described as a “bodily manifestation of innate joy, complex interior life and strength of character. We’ve got problems but we’re also the life of the party”. A message – and a label – we can get behind.
JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown's Scaring the Hoes: Vol. 1 vape USB
Scaring the Hoes was a weighty project from a pair of heavy-hitters operating in the vanguard of contemporary, nonconformist rap. A collaboration between JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown, we don’t need to sell you on the sounds of the album nor its four-track DLC Pack follow-up. We do think the physical version of the album, complete in all its tongue-in-cheek vape-shaped, glory, would make a neat stocking filler for the Lost Mary lover in your life – plus any fans of this dynamite pairing. (A disclaimer, courtesy of the store listing: “this is not an actual vape, just a flashdrive.”)
Simple Things Festival tickets
£22.50 - £55
Simple Things is back. The Bristol festival – organised by Crack Magazine, Team Love and founder Matt Aitken – returns for its 10th edition in February, and we hope to see you there. That’s it, plug over.
Jonny Banger's Sports Banger: Lifestyles of the Poor, Rich & Famous book
A coffee table book you’ll actually want to read. Charting the rise of Sports Banger – the fashion brand, label collective founded and led by Jonny Banger – the contents of Sports Banger: Lifestyles of the Poor, Rich & Famous span over 10 years of music and culture, raves and style, bootlegs, community projects and big-name link-ups. You’ll want to keep this one for yourselves – we know we do.
Mitski's The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We passport
A “scrapbook guide” to Mitski’s latest album, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We. Inside the passport, you’ll find lyrics to each album track with a stamp section designed for you to use with accompanying (and tradable) Mitski stickers. Consider this a backstage pass to her lyrical universe. Perfect for fledging fans of the artist, whose songs, new and old, have been resonating with huge numbers of new ears on TikTok.
The Icon Catalogue zines
These A6 zines from Velocity Press offer insight into an eye-watering array of prestigious and pioneering imprints operating in a slew of electronic music genres including jungle, UK garage and dubstep. Be it the labels that carved new lanes for themselves and their scenes, or the newcomers dancing to their own beat, each title shines a light on the names and dates you need to know, in digestible zine format. Essential reading with some essential listens tucked within.